THE relations between India and Australia are going from strength to strength. The two nations are getting closer not only bilaterally but also as Quad partners. Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Anthony Albanese have already met each other six times in the past one year. PM Modi’s just-concluded visit to Australia ticked all the right boxes. Both countries decided to seal a comprehensive trade deal by the year-end. They also signed a migration and mobility partnership pact that is expected to open up opportunities for students, academic researchers and business people and curb illegal immigration. This agreement comes just two months after the Australia-India Education Qualification Recognition Mechanism was finalised during Albanese’s visit to India.
Considering the priority being given to strong ties in the education sector, India and Australia need to effectively tackle the menace of visa fraud. With some Australian universities refusing admission to Indian students, a large-scale clean-up is required to weed out unscrupulous immigration and education consultants.
Even as the talks focused on cooperation in a wide range of sectors — education, green hydrogen, defence and security, trade and investment, critical minerals — PM Modi raised India’s concerns over the attacks on temples and the activities of Khalistan sympathisers in Australia. The two governments decided to exchange information and coordinate with each other regarding action against separatists and vandals who have been defacing community centres and temples with anti-India graffiti. This is an area where Australia needs to be proactive to ensure that its territory is not misused by radical elements. Dealing firmly with such troublemakers can pave the way for a deeper engagement between New Delhi and Canberra.
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